I decided to do this year's tea as a French-themed garden party. It fell the weekend after Bastille Day, but I did it mostly because I wanted to use my new patio furniture. It actually ended up South of France, with a slight Italian influence. I got out the hand towels and apron I bought in Antibes several years ago and made a whole bunch of cute stuff.
|The spice merchant at the very cool Farmer's Market in Antibes|
Because I was baking at work all week and had to work the morning of the tea, nearly everything I served was do-ahead. Most of it was in the freezer and just had to be pulled out in the morning and plated. The only thing I made that day was the prosciutto e melone and sliced the fresh fruit and baguette. I just prepped or baked about two items a day and stored it properly until needed. This is an excellent tactic for anyone with a busy schedule who wants to throw a party without a caterer. If properly frozen, no one can tell a baked good isn't fresh, and many other items can be prepared a couple of days in advance without looking like leftovers. Really, fresh fruits and vegetables are the only things that will look old, and reheated meats can end up overcooked.
Brie et baguette
Prosciutto e Melone
Basil and Mint iced tea
Champagne (why not!)
|Patio set plus a kitchen chair|